Second in a series of looks at positions the Eagles might target in the May 8-10 NFL draft:
What they have:
The Eagles have a solid, young, developing trio of d-linemen in Cedric Thornton, Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox. They could use more size and depth as they continue the transition to the 3-4 base defensive coordinator Bill Davis prefers. They got some good snaps from Vinny Curry last year, miscast in a 3-4 though he might be; a lot of that work came when they presented four-man fronts. Cliff Geathers left in free agency.
What they need:
Nothing is that pressing, really. But this is where you get into how strongly Eagles general manager Howie Roseman believes in taking the best players available, regardless of position. And an injury to any of the starting trio could change the picture dramatically.
Some mock drafts have Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix (6-2, 331) going to the Birds at 22nd overall in the first round. Nix is bigger than Logan (listed at 6-2, 309) and might provide more pass-rush push. Logan, a third-round rookie last season who showed a lot of promise, can also play defensive end, so it isn't like he'd never see the field again if Nix was the pick. But if the team rates, say, a corner and a wideout as comparable to Nix in terms of potential, wouldn't the Eagles be better served shoring up those positions? To be the pick, Nix probably has to rank way ahead.
The Eagles probably aren't going to have a shot at Pitt's versatile, quick Aaron Donald. It'll be interesting if they do, given that the Birds are trying to get bigger, and Donald is listed at 6-1, 285.
If he's there when they pick 54th overall in the second round, or 86th in the third, it'll be interesting to see if the Eagles go for Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy (6-4, 273), who has that long, lean frame that seems to be their prototype. Ealy might project more as a linebacker in the Eagles' scheme; that's the case with quite a few of the college defensive ends.